Pic of the Week: Twickenham Ice Rink

We’re liking the look of the winter ice rink at Strawberry Hill House. It’s a better location than last year’s at York House and is actually quite picturesque if we may say so. In fact, if we’re honest, it looks a little bit like this…

In a word: whoosh!

In a word: whoosh!

And here’s a Vine to double prove it…

* Richmond Rink (aka the ice rink at Strawberry Hill House)

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Filed under Pix of the Week, Random Stuff, What's on

Twickenham School Site Scrap?

School goes here

School goes in the middle of here?

[STOP PRESS: The change of use application has now been withdrawn. See update at the end. ]

There’s nothing quite like planning committees and schools to get people all hot under the collar in Twickenham. That whole ‘neck / collar interface’ is getting decidedly warm near Twickenham Green as one of the recently approved free schools seeks to turn an office block into its new primary school. What office block is that, we hear you cry. Well it’s Heathgate House which sits between Heath Road and Colne Road by Twickenham Green. It’s a building that has had intermittent use over recent years and now GEMS Learning Trust are proposing to convert it into their new Twickenham Primary Academy.
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Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, Schools

Pic of the Week: December Afternoon

Clear skies and a low winter sun make for a warm light and long shadows by the Thames at Orleans Gardens.

December afternoon, Orleans Gardens, Twickenham

December afternoon, Orleans Gardens, Twickenham

And that’s about it. There’s not much else to say about it. Actually, while we think about it, if you are after some great local photography (and not from the twickerati studio, we might add) then take a look at Andrew Wilson’s new book, Wild about Twickenham. It’s available locally in, we think, Crusader Travel and Waterstones.


Filed under Pix of the Week, Random Stuff

Release the Twickenham Festive 5s! Five Tip Top Tips Just For You!

[Update: Want to see all the great ideas that have been added to this item? Jump straight to the comments section to take a look]

Some Twickmas going on

Some Twickmas going on

Wondering how it’s got to December already and you’re now closer to setting a new bunch of New Year’s Resolutions than you are to actually starting work on the last set? Tough!
 Beginning to panic about Auntie Madge overstaying her welcome on Boxing Day especially after last year’s incident with the Vicar and the sherry trifle during a game of charades? Too bad!  Stuck for gift ideas for family and friends?  Not anymore you’re bloody not. Why? Because this is the item where we ask you to share your Christmas recommendations and gift ideas with Twickenham’s teeming hordes, aka you the twickerati. That’s right, it’s time for this year’s Twickenham Festive 5s! We want yours and, as our dear American cousins might say, we want them real bad.

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without lists. Present ideas, food to buy, cards to send, who to invite for drinks, who to avoid, the Sunday papers’ lists of the best and the worst of 2014. It’s just list upon list upon bastard list. Well count us in too!

What are the Twickenham Festive 5s? If you’re a local business or even just a regular resident and you want to share 5 ideas for Christmas, do it here by adding a comment below. If you’re a shop it might be your 5 best gift ideas that Joe Twickenham Public can come and buy. If you’re a pub it might be your top 5 Christmas drinks recommendations, if you’re a cafe it could be your top 5 festive cakes, or if you’re just a regular resident you might want to share your top 5 ideas for your perfect Twickenham Christmas?  It really is that simple.

The rules?
1)  Post a comment below with a numbered list of your 5 recommendations or gift ideas
2)  Explain what each thing is, but please keep it very brief
3)  Include hyperlinks to your website, if you want
4)  Include the price of each item, if applicable
5)  Re-check carefully that you’ve actually managed to make a list of 5 things (even if the fifth one is really just there to make up the numbers)

Apart from that?
Apart from that, there’s nothing to it. It’s basically your chance to get a bit of free promotion on twickerati under a ‘shop local’ banner. Who’s going to see it? Lots of people. This site gets between 500 and 1,000 page views a day and about 1,500-2,000 unique Twickenhammy visitors each week. Not too shabby for a humble hyperlocal blog.  We’ll be tweeting links back to this page too. So, get listing and share your Twickenham #Festive5s with us.  Good luck, Angels!


Filed under High Street Updates, Local Issues & News, Random Stuff

Twickenham Cat Killer?

Troubling news has been circulating this week about cats being killed in the Haggard Road area of Twickenham. Reports surfaced on the Facebook page of Hounslow Animal Welfare Society (aka HAWS) stating that one of their animal adopters had been visited by the Police to inform her that her cat had been deliberately hanged from a tree. The HAWS posting goes on to say that a local vet told them of another case of a cat being killed and mutilated in the area. The Police are looking into the matter but in the meantime, cat owners in the vicinity have been advised to keep their pets indoors. Needless to say, if anyone has any information about this they should contact the Police.

* HAWS on Facebook
* Evening Standard item
* Richmond & Twickenham Times


Filed under Local Issues & News

TWAP Update: Twickenham Town Square Gets Closer

Water Lane site, Twickenham

Water Lane site, Twickenham

Twickenham hasn’t always made best use of its Thames-side location. It’s perfectly possible to pass through the town without realising that the main drag passes just 100 metres from the river. That looks set to change with the Council’s acquisition of the large site on the corner of Water Lane and King Street currently occupied by Santander, Superdrug and M&Co. It’s a TWAP* thing, of course. The plan is to redevelop the site to create a ‘town square’ at the top of Water Lane, provide better access to the river and the Diamond Jubilee Gardens (possibly including some kind of outdoor performance space), and create a mixed use development incorporating retail outlets and residential properties. Sounds good. What’s not to like?

Council supremo Lord True, aka the Blue Baron, said, “The separation of Twickenham Town from the historic riverside, that was so critical to the development of the area, has long been regretted by local people, and led to wide spread under appreciation of the quality of the unique place. By acquiring the properties, the Council is fulfilling a promise to enable the creation of a new heart and square for Twickenham that will unite town and river again”. Cue air punching and stirring music.
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Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, Twickenham Action Plan

Your 2014 Twickenham Christmas What’s On Spectacular

Christmas display, Corto, Church St.

Christmas display, Corto Deli

Can it really be that time again when we have to scour other people’s websites and publications to find the best of what’s on in Twickenham and then pass it off as our own hard work? Yes, yes it can. So here we go with some quality stuff to keep you occupied over the festive season. Meanwhile we’re off to sort out our legal defence with our lawyers. Whether it’s Christmas lights, festive fairs, artists’ studios, a pantomime or rugby at Twickenham Stadium that you’re after, when it comes to #twickmas, we’ve got it all below. Or at least, we’ve summarised some aspects of it…

Scroll down or just click on our categories if you want to keep it simple:
Christmas lights
Other Christmas events in & around Twickenham
Panto & Theatre
Music & Comedy
Other Useful Links


When seminal indie art-rockers The Sugarbabes sang ‘Push The Button’ way back in 2005 it’s unlikely they were aspiring to be the ones who switched on the Christmas lights in Twickenham some nine years later. And to be honest, they’ve had so many changes of personnel that having a stage big enough to fit them all on would be difficult, especially as they’d also need to make space for assorted local dignitaries and Star Wars Storm Troopers.  Come to think of it, do we actually know who’s inside those Storm Trooper outfits? Mutya? Keisha? The other one? Is that you lot in there??

Twickenham – Friday 21st November
Twickenham Town Centre Christmas Lights – from 4.00pm
Busy, much? Expect plenty of Twicker-types down in Church Street for Twickenham’s Christmas lights. Events kick off in the afternoon. There will be stalls, Punch & Judy shows, face painting, the band from the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall and more. Given that the presence – or at least the clearly identifiable presence – of The Sugarbabes is highly unlikely, you will see,  Don Craine of 60s (and current) rhythm & blues outfit Downliners Sect doing the honours when it comes to pushing the button at 6.30pm. It was on Twitter; it must be true! Expect plenty of mulled wine, mince pies, festive music and a whole lot of good-natured milling around. Worth a visit.  More info (coming soon) at TTBA

Festive Family Fayre at the Diamond Jubilee Gardens – 4.30pm to 7.30pm
There will be elves. There will be reindeer, Santa, children’s crafts, stalls, carol singing and live music from Nark Drool and the Shudders to keep you entertained at the Diamond Jubilee Gardens on Twickenham Embankment. More info from Twickenham Riverside Trust.


Whitton – Sunday 23rd November
Whitton gets the Christmas lights treatment on Sunday 23rd. The High Street will be closed from 11.00am. There’s a 5k fun run at midday and there’ll be lots of other entertainment including the Kneller Hall Military Band. The lights go on at 4.45pm and it’ll all be over at 5.30pm. More info.

Teddington – Thursday 27th November
Teddington – are we even allowed to mention that place – does its thing in the High Street & Broad Street. Includes late night shopping from 4.00pm to 10.00pm Lights go on at 5.45pm. Broad Street, Teddington.

East Twickenham – Friday 28th November
East Twickenham will be doing its own button pushing or switch flicking on Friday 28th November with support from Mayor Jane Boulton (off of El Brute). It’s taking place at the Christmas tree (obviously) just by Richmond Bridge at 5.00pm with carol singing, mulled wine and, of course, mince pies. More.

Hampton Hill – Friday 28th November
28th November festive fun is not the sole preserve of East Twickenham. Hampton Hill will be getting into the Christmas spirit too. Events take place from 4.00pm, with its famous parade at 6.00pm. Expect a hog roast, craft stalls, booze, you name it. More.

Richmond Christmas Lights – Fri 28th November
Oh blimey, there’s also loads going on ‘over the water’ on Friday 28th. Richmond’s Christmas Lights event runs from 3.00pm to 8.00pm. We’re talkin’ food market, live music, Father Christmas, and lots of promotions in the local shops, especially around Hill Rise. The lights will go on at 6.30pm with Jerry Hall doing the honours. Younger readers will remember that Jerry first found fame when she appeared on Strictly Come Dancing a few years back and she’s also starring in Richmond’s panto this year.  Oh yes she is.  More.

Hampton Village – Sun 30th November
Food, drink, local choirs, live music and more at the Hampton Village Christmas Celebration. Santa will be leaving the Jolly Coopers at 3.45pm (hopefully not after a long lunchtime sesh!) and heading to the Sea Scout Hall on Station Road to turn on the tree lights at about 4.30pm. The event ends at 7.00pm. Full details.

Twickenham Green – Sun 7th December
A Christmas tree, some carols and some mulled wine. Your chance to get festively communal on Twickenham Green. 6.30pm (we think).

Teddington Christmas Lantern Procession – Sun 14th December
Bloody Teddington, eh? Always trying to have the final word, aren’t they? This will be their second event of the season. The Christmas Lantern Procession returns for its second year. The clue’s in the name really.  The procession starts at 4.00pm at Teddington Memorial Hospital and wends its festive way through the town centre. Santa will be leading the way. He’s certainly being kept very busy in the Borough isn’t he, boys and girls?! More details.


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Filed under Food & Drink, Local Issues & News, What's on

Pic of the Week: Heathrow vs The Arts

Expand the Arts not Heathrow! Whilst in no way condoning the defacement of adverts (of course, etc) we did find this one rather amusing. It’s on the corner of Staines Road and Elmsleigh Road and should raise a chuckle with the retired thesps in Brinsworth House opposite. Hey, perhaps there’s a connection? Look out for an aged actor armed with spray can and a long ladder roaming the streets of Twickenham after dark.

'Expand Heathrow' poster in Twickenham [courtesy of & copyright: Jodie Holland aka @dutchmrs on Twitter]

‘Expand Heathrow’ poster in Twickenham
[courtesy of & copyright: Jodie Holland aka @dutchmrs on Twitter]

Photo courtesy & we suppose copyright of Jodie Holland aka @dutchmrs on Twitter. As to a credit for the original artwork, we’re not entirely sure.


Filed under Heathrow, Pix of the Week, Random Stuff

The Rugby World Cup, the RFU… and You

Twickenham stadium

Twickenham stadium

Twickenham in south west London is famous as the home of English rugby. How’s that for an utterly fatuous introduction to an article? It’s pathetic. You live here, you know that already. Despite the opening inanity, what that ‘rugby fame thing’ actually means to you personally is something which carries a little more significance. Like it or not Twickenham is a rugby town – not exactly built around rugby perhaps, but certainly heavily influenced and affected by it. Whether you love rugby, can’t stand it or are totally indifferent to it, having up to 82,000 fans descend on Twickenham for big internationals isn’t something you can simply ignore.

The Autumn Internationals are upon us (two down, three to go) and you’ll be delighted / devastated to hear that it’s just three months until the 2015 RBS Six Nations begins again. And 2015 will be quite a year what with the ol’ Rugby World Cup malarkey taking place in England.  Some huge games will put Twickenham under the global rugby spotlight like never before.  [We’re not entirely sure what the global rugby spotlight is but it sounds pretty powerful.]

The tournament kicks off with England v Fiji at Twickenham on 18th September and over the following six weeks Twickenham will host ten matches through to the final on 31st October. That’s a lorra, lorra rugby. Add to that all the visiting fans staying locally and the South Africa and New Zealand teams being based nearby at St Mary’s University and the Lensbury Club and it should make for quite an event. El Brute have even announced that they are setting up a, wait for it, Rugby World Cup Scrutiny Panel, to help create a ‘Festival of Rugby‘ across the borough. We’re talking arts, music, sporty stuff and even a FanZone. The festival will run from May until the end of the tournament. Twickenham will be buzzing.

So far, so what? Twickenham isn’t just the home of England rugby, it’s also a real place, with real residents and real businesses. The RFU has the tricky task of managing ‘rugby plc’ complete with very large stadium whilst also trying to maintain good relations with the locals. It’s certainly not impossible but it does have its tensions. Continue reading


Filed under Local Issues & News, Random Stuff